REUTERS/Aftab Ahmed and Rajendra Jadhav
India’s Nov gold imports jump to 5-month high as prices retreat
December 3, 2019
“India’s gold imports in November jumped 78% from a month earlier to the highest level in five months as jewellers in the world’s second-biggest market for the metal restocked after a fall in prices, a government source said on Tuesday. Higher imports by the South Asian country could support global prices that have risen more than 12% so far in 2019, but could also widen India’s trade deficit and put pressure on the rupee. India fills nearly all of its gold demand through imports.
India imported 71 tonnes of gold in November, compared with 40 tonnes in October, the source said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media. Imports were down 16% from November 2018, however, he added. Gold prices corrected after the Diwali festival, giving an opportunity for jewellers to replenish inventory, said Mukesh Kothari, director at Mumbai bullion dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions. Indians celebrated the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals in October, when retail demand for gold peaks as it is considered auspicious and invokes lasting prosperity.”
MARKET WATCH/Chris Matthews and William Watts
Dow tumbles 300 points after Trump says China deal may be best after election
December 3, 2019
“U.S. stocks fell sharply at the start of trade Tuesday, on track for a second day of heavy losses, after President Donald Trump said the idea of holding off on a U.S.-China trade deal until after the 2020 presidential election had appeal, undermining market confidence that a deal may be done before fresh import tariffs are imposed on December 15. Investors were also monitoring moves by President Trump to raise or threaten tariffs on other partners, including Brazil, Argentina and France. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.36% fell 326 points, or 1.2%, to trade at 27,450, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.02% gave up 33 points, or 1.1%, to trade at 3,080. The Nasdaq Composite index COMP, -1.03% retreated 113 points, or 1.3%, at 8,456.
Stocks saw their biggest one-day decline in nearly eight weeks on Monday, with the Dow falling 268.37 points, or 1%, to end at 27,783.04. The S&P 500 dropped 27.11 points or 0.9%, to close at 3,113.87, while the Nasdaq Stock-index futures were trading higher in premarket action Tuesday, but turned lower after Trump, speaking at a London news conference where he is attending a NATO meeting, said he had “no deadline” when it comes to concluding the long-running U.S.-China trade talks. ‘In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth. But I’m not going to say that, I just think that,’ Trump said.”
If we are in for another December market plunge, here are the places to hide out
December 3, 2019
“It’s December, markets are dropping and it feels like we’ve been here before. Stocks dropped the first two trading days of December and investors are having deja vu. The Dow tumbled nearly 270 points on Monday and continued to fall more than 400 points on Tuesday after President Donald Trump suggested he may want to delay a trade deal with China until after the 2020 presidential election. Alongside the suffering markets, the CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge for investor fear, jumped more than six points above the 17 level, after being stable and range bound for most of November.
Investors are now having flashbacks to last year, when the market suffered its worst December since the Great Depression amid the intensified U.S.-China trade war and a rate increase from the Federal Reserve, with the major stock averages briefly dipping into bear market territory on an intraday basis. The VIX spiked above the 36 level in December 2018. In case fears that last December will repeat itself become a reality, CNBC screened for the best places to hide out when volatility spikes …The iShares Gold Trust ETF (IAU) and the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) are the best performing ETFs during months when volatility spikes, trading positive 65% of the time and returning an average of 2.6% if you buy when the VIX starts to move and sell one month later. Gold is seen as a safe haven and store of value during times of economic uncertainty and increased geopolitical tensions.”
BLOOMBERG/Eric Lam and Gregor Stuart Hunter
Here’s What Happens to Markets If U.S. Tariffs on China Kick in Dec. 15
December 2, 2019
“President Donald Trump’s latest missives on trade are a wake-up call to markets close to record highs that a major deadline is looming with China. The Dec. 15 flashpoint on tariffs was thrown into sharp relief Tuesday when Trump said he sees no urgency to complete a deal, right after he threatened an assortment of trading partners with levies. ‘If tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 are implemented it would be a huge shock to the market consensus,’ said Sue Trinh, managing director for global macro strategy at Manulife Investment Management in Hong Kong. ‘Trump would be the Grinch that stole Christmas,’ she said.
Global equities came within a whisker of their all-time high last month, propelled in part by swelling optimism that at least an interim U.S.-China trade deal was in the offing. Meantime, the clock kept ticking towards Dec. 15, when Trump has threatened to impose 15% levies on $160 billion of Chinese imports. With about two weeks to go on the China front, the Trump administration hit Brazil and Argentina with steel tariffs and proposed levies on France as punishment over a tax that’s hit U.S. tech companies. Moves by self-styled Tariff Man Monday were enough to trigger the biggest Wall Street sell-off in eight weeks — with a little help from a weak U.S. manufacturing report. ‘I have no deadline,’ Trump told reporters when asked if he wanted an agreement by year end. Stocks fell. The U.S. president suggested that in some ways, it might be better to wait until after the November election. The following are the views of a number of market participants on what happens if the tariffs on China kick in Dec. 15. It will be ‘definitely risk-off across the screen,’ Tongli Han, chief investment officer at Deepblue Global Investment, said. ‘What happened recently makes this trade deal more costly for Chinese leaders — so I’m seeing a gloomy future for the short term, one-to-two months.’”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/Ian Talley
Iran, Cut Off from Vital Cash Reserves, Is Approaching Economic Peril, U.S. Says
December 3, 2019
“While Iran’s sanction-battered economy has sparked protests across the nation, U.S. officials cite new intelligence suggesting Tehran’s finances are more dire than previously thought and are bringing it closer to a financial crisis. Tehran’s sophisticated sanction-evasion efforts have offset some of the losses from plummeting oil exports due to global U.S. sanctions pressure. But according to new U.S. financial intelligence, the government is scraping the barrel on foreign-exchange reserves, a critical indicator of the country’s ability to control economic forces and to import equipment and supplies.
That shortfall, combined with the oil drop-off and a widening trade deficit, puts Iran in even greater economic duress than in 2013, when the government of President Hassan Rouhani was pressured into starting official nuclear negotiations with global powers, U.S. officials say. The state of Iran’s economy is clouded by unknowns, as the country’s economic statistics aren’t always considered reliable or transparent, and intelligence from U.S. allies indicate Iran’s government may have sufficient amounts of off-book income to ease its shortfall.”
KITCO NEWS/Jim Wyckoff
Gold, silver prices pop as stocks wobble on Trump trade rhetoric
December 3, 2019
“Gold and silver prices are posting good gains in early U.S. trading Tuesday, on some safe-haven buying interest following downbeat remarks from President Trump regarding the U.S.-China trade negotiations. February gold futures were last up $11.40 an ounce at 1,480.20. March Comex silver prices were last up $0.249 at $17.205 an ounce.
Trader and investor risk appetite has again been dented Tuesday following Trump’s comments in London, regarding a partial U.S.-China trade deal. Trump said there is no timetable on even a partial deal and implied any deal could come after next year’s U.S. presidential election. ‘In some ways, it may be better to wait until after the election,’ said Trump. Trump on Monday threatened Brazil and Argentina with trade tariffs and on Tuesday did the same to France. Asian equities were mixed and European stock markets were mostly lower overnight. The U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. In other overnight news, the Euro zone producer price index in October rose 0.1% from September and was down 1.9%, year-on-year. That’s yet another worrisomely low inflation report coming from the world’s third-largest economy.”